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Redskins Acquire Vikings' James In Trade

The Redskins have completed a trade for Minnesota Vikings defensive end Erasmus James, the team announced on Tuesday.

The Redskins sent a conditional 2009 seventh-round draft pick to the Vikings for James, a 6-4, 266-pounder entering his fourth season in the NFL.

The Vikings had waived James last Friday, but they later rescinded the transaction. The Redskins were able to acquire James via trade before he hit the free agent market.

James, 25, was the Vikings' first-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, but after a strong rookie season he has been slowed by knee injuries.

James played college football at Wisconsin where he was tutored by current Redskins defensive line coach John Palermo.

"We really liked Erasmus coming out of college," executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said. "He's young and talented, and he has a great deal of potential. We like the fact that his defensive line coach at the University of Wisconsin--John Palermo--is our current defensive line coach."

Said Palermo: "Erasmus is an every down player. He's tough enough to play on first and second down and fast enough to give you a good pass rush on third down.

"He has been injured, so he really hasn't had an opportunity to play a lot, but when healthy he has proven to be a physical lineman."

James adds depth to a defensive line unit that includes Andre Carter at right defensive end and Phillip Daniels on the left. Demetric Evans and Chris Wilson are backups, and linebacker Marcus Washington lines up at defensive end in pass-rushing situations.

To make room for James, the Redskins released defensive end Dorian Smith, an undrafted rookie free agent.

James has 51 career tackles with five sacks. His best season was as a rookie in 2005, when he started 9-of-15 games and recorded 51 tackles and five four sacks.

James suffered a knee ligament injury in September 2006 and was sidelined most of the season.

Last year, James played in six games and recorded six tackles and one sack in limited duty. His season was again cut short due to a knee injury.

The Vikings had acquired Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen this offseason, signaling that James was not in the team's plans.

James had failed his physical in Minnesota, according to the Vikings' official web site. He is expected to take a physical in Washington on Wednesday.

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